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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Co-operation instead of Control (a guest post)

I am so thrilled to have a guest post to from Julie Louisson. Julie is a past primary teacher who is now a parent and blogger from New Zealand, She has two sons (aged 3 and 5). Since meeting Julie over at the Spiritually Aware Parenting Community Group, I have been so excited to see how our work ties in to each other. I love discovering like-minded lightworkers in the Spiritual Parenting community and I hope you will check out more of Julie's work over at her website. Without further ado... I'll pass the post over to Julie's words...

Here in New Zealand, teachers at early childhood centres and schools encourage children to use the
phrase “stop it, I don’t like” as a clear and respectful way to stand up for themselves when needed.  So, I have taught my boys (aged 2 and 5) to use this phrase with one another at home.  One morning, I heard my eldest saying “stop it, I don’t like it”, repeatedly.  His brother obviously wasn’t listening to him so I went over to investigate what was going on.  It turned out my son was talking to me!  “What am I doing that you don’t like?” I asked, incredulously.
“You’re being bossy”. I was told.
And I was.  It was a humbling reminder that I had strayed from my intentions to collaborate with my boys rather than insist on unquestioned compliance.  When we demand compliance from our children, we silence their voice and teach them to bow to the expectations others have of them.  On the other hand, when we recruit our children’s co-operation, we teach them to value the needs and wants of themselves and others equally.  They develop a sense of their power to impact their own lives and others’ in positive ways.
I believe we are spiritual equals with our children.  I don’t think we have the right to thoughtlessly dish out instructions and expect them to do everything we say.  Sure, there are occasions when our children just have to do as they are told, perhaps for safety or practical reasons, but we have to respect their needs and wants as much as our own.  As a parent, I also want to teach my boys to regard everybody’s needs and wants equally themselves.
The way I parent, including the way I get my boys to do what I need them to do, is an important part of teaching them to value everybody equally and to approach life with a collaborative spirit.  Being bossy is not a part of this!  Here are some of the things I do to enlist their co-operation rather than enforce compliance –
I ask my children for help rather than instruct and demand.  For example, our Wednesday mornings are particularly busy as my husband leaves home early for a breakfast meeting. Things need to go smoothly in order for my boys and I to get out the door in time.  So, over breakfast, I tell them that I find it hard doing everything without Daddy’s help and ask them to please help me by being especially quick with their morning tasks.  It’s a team effort and, lately, we’ve been running early on Wednesday mornings.
I thank more than I praise.  When one of my boys has done something that is helpful to me, instead of praising (eg. “Good boy”), I offer a sincere thank you (eg. “I really appreciate you getting the mail, I already had my hands full”).  Showing appreciation acknowledges their giving heart.  Praise only affirms that they did what I wanted them to.
I acknowledge spontaneous co-operation.  Doesn’t it make your heart swell to see your children thinking of and serving others of their own accord?  My youngest often finds my things around the house and brings them to me in case I might need them.  I give him a big hug of thanks for his thoughtfulness.
I get my children to do chores.  In our house, chores are unpaid.  They are an opportunity for my boys to co-operate and help with the smooth-running of the house.  If my son doesn’t set the table, for example, we can’t eat. The natural consequences of co-operation are far more enjoyable than the natural consequences of not helping.  My boys see and experience the fruits of their labour.
I co-operate with my children too.  Co-operation is a two-way street and my example is one of my best parenting tools.  I help my eldest to find the missing Lego piece he needs.  Sometimes, I change my plans around to accommodate a playdate he has requested.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent. - John Donne

Apart from being a respectful way to get our children to do what we need them to, a spirit of co-operation in the family helps them to see the big picture – they are a part of humanity and everyone’s behaviour impacts on the other people around them.  They learn that, when people co-operate, it makes a positive difference for everyone involved.  Co-operating also helps our children to see that they have something to contribute, giving them a sense of their own worth and everybody else’s.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

An Alternative Curriculum

Ever since I held our first born daughter in my arms I knew I was going to want to home school our children. I’ve never looked back on the decision, although I have to admit, we’ve had our number of struggles with what curriculum to use and what approach to take.
This was especially true with my second daughter. She was the one who usually had her head in a workbook. Those early years when I thought schoolwork had to be painful and forced meant she wrote her answers with tears streaming down her face. When I finally had the inner realisation that I wanted my children to love learning and have the passion for it to keep learning their whole life, in some ways I had to de-school my second daughter. We turned to creative living and unschooling as an approach for her. She is imaginative, creative, passionate and very tactile. Why read about it when you can play with it, why study and memorise? For her, it has to have life breathed into it so her very spirit sings out with it.
But, with an older sister, who is very pragmatic and academic, it was hard for my creative spirit girl to find a groove. I turned around to find our free floating approach leaving her feeling like she wasn’t smart enough to do “normal work.” It’s fine to tell someone that they work differently, but in the long run, they will look for proof of what they can do.
And then, there was Oak Meadow.
My daughter and I have eyed Oak Meadow for quite sometimes, tiptoeing in and then wondering if it would work for her. But now, with her in Grade 8 and she’s been forcing herself to do workbooks she HATED or programs that barely made sense, she’s felt ahead in some areas and then behind in others, she’s craved a structure, a method, a way to turn around each day and say “yes, I learnt this today and now I am done my lesson.” I tried her on some standard structured programs, but it was dull for her multicoloured mind. Oak Meadow was to be the solution.
Oak Meadow is a Waldorf inspired curriculum with a difference. Its nature and projected based, with lessons in classical literature and approaches, but it also interweaves common core outcomes in all it does. Subjects flow in and out of each other, so to keep a child’s interest and yet achieve the right outcomes and it does so with a sense of grace and beauty you can literally feel it enrich a child’s world when they open each lesson.
Our grade 7 curriculum arrived yesterday and my daughter’s eyes (ok... my eyes as well) sparkled with the excitement of unpacking it.
We chose to do the Grade 7 curriculum for its content. It's world history provides the student with everything from Shakespeare to Amelia Earhart and Martin Luther King, flowing beautifully together with explorations in classical music and art. Projects that have caught my eye in the first perusal include memorising Shakespeare verse, presenting a scene on film, interviewing survivors of WW11, diary entries of historical times, film reviews, as well as an array of essay topics and reports. From what I’ve noticed so far the student is given a choice for each assignment and it can range from creative and artistic to a more traditional essay standard. The English syllabus provides a foundation to support the world history projects, including grammar instruction and words to compile for spelling reviews and proof reading. Science is beautifully laid out, covering some review topics from years before to then launch into astronomy and observation work.
The math is divided in two books, one with instruction and one as a workbook, with a hefty amount of practice sheets so the student feels comfortable and confident before heading to the next topic. Math has always been my girl’s terror subject and she’s been nervous for this official curriculum for that reason. It’s also another reason we ordered a grade lower. Strangely, though, when I look at my local school’s concept of what grade 8 contains, Oak Meadow’s grade 7 covers most of it anyway, proving that it’s a solid academic choice and my daughter is getting a great stepping stone in her education.
From the binding which looks like a traditional spine but is actually spiral bound underneath to the little touches like the small wooden plane to assemble during the study of first flights, we haven’t even properly started and I’m ecstatic!  I’m sure there will be challenges along the way, as my daughter has to go through the growing steps in finding her own rhythm in learning and creating the routine she was desiring. Sometimes, what we say we want looks different when we actually get it, but still, she has been desiring what she knows she needs. The satisfaction is going to be awe-inspiring!
I’m often asked about curriculums for homeschooling and I’ll be doing a number of reviews regarding this one as my daughter progresses through it. We’re starting late in the year, but that’s the homeschooling journey I guess. 
Summer school isn’t such a bad thing when learning is fun.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Turning January Blahs into Joys.

So, how is your family recovering from the holidays?
There is something I’ve always loved about January... the openness, the newness, the space to launch into anything...
And then I had kids and I was introduced to January blahs.
Have you ever noticed how in October everyone is excited about Halloween and then it turns to November and Christmas whisperings start.. it builds and builds... feeling like a cross between excitement and absolutely overwhelm. Finally, it ends with hysteria. I’ve always done my best to keep it calm and cool, but now that everyone is older they are on their own path. Christmas morning comes, I focus on keeping it chill, but everyone has their own processes, their own anticipation and then suddenly after all the build up... it’s done.
I watched my children eek out the holiday spirit through until New Years. We played, they goofed about and we had some amazing family time. Ours is a “downtime” themed holiday... soaking up the music, food and card game vibe.
But life proceeds... and now it’s back into our happy day to day life. No matter how long you keep the tree up, the energy shifts and suddenly, it just... well, I guess it just feels like January. I start pulling out my agenda, and my Leonie Dawson workbooks, I start feeling my way to the new path of 2017.
But everyone under 14 has a bit of a gap. With nothing “to look forward to.” There's some mood swings, some upset over little issues... really a sense of overwhelmed.
Ugh, my husband and I sigh with the whole thing. Culturally children have been told for three months of the year that there is happiness around the corner. 
But really, we all know that happiness is in the day.
Don’t get me wrong, my kids know this too. In fact, one of the things they all noticed during holidays was how the happiness was in the lightness and moment to moment play of each day. The prep had been empty promises, as the gifts and celebration had been hoopla for 15 minutes, it was the after play that really rung out in joy.
But January whispers to them otherwise. Although my boy loved his blocks and toys, and played with them during the week, now they sit on the shelf as he approaches each day with an energy of “now what?”
Outside is cold and stormy, there’s a restlessness progressing and each day he goes to sleep asking “what’s happening tomorrow?”
When a child is 2-3 they know the happiness of the moment, and anything outside of that is overwhelming. They welcome the end to celebrations and big deals. 
But, like our older children, we can also fall for the premise of happiness having to be found and built upon, can’t we? When do we learn to drop in the joy of the day like our babies? Do we pass the restlessness on to them? Do they learn it from us? Is our children’s restlessness a mirror of our own?

It is time to refocus. It is January after all, right? It is time to breathe in the moment and release the anticipation for a greater tomorrow. Let’s embrace a fantastic today.

This is why I extended my New Year sale on the Spiritual Kids course. (this is the last sale I'll be having in a while, everyone I work with keeps having a fit how cheap I offer it.) I think shifting the focus to creating spiritual foundation in our homes is the perfect solution to January blahs. It shifts it from “what is happening tomorrow?” to “What are we being today?” It turns our child’s focus from “What are others doing for me?” to “What can I create for myself?”
When we offer our children tools to find out what makes themselves jive, when we draw their attention to their emotions and their focus through activities and crafts, we help them feel their way to their inner truths, with fun and lightness. And in that vibration, we attune ourselves. They get to show up as themselves, their own individual essences, rather than the “child” who is waiting for the next holiday. Rather than a role, they can shine as themselves.
Roles follow us all and it’s time to break free of them.
Passing on spirituality has made me have to set aside my own sense of roles. I’ve had to show up as myself so I can encourage my kids to do the same.
It’s a wonderful circle pathway to embark on.
Life is fun; each day a seed to grow into a joyful experience. Each moment, we can choose our focus and we don’t need holidays, or events or even outings to create happiness in our lives.
Living in the present is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
There was a great quote from Abraham Hicks the other day... it talked about cutting out the word "achieve" and "earn"... and replace with "allow".
We need to stop working towards happiness and allow it to be in the moment instead.

And now, I have to slip downstairs to help my son ice a cake we just made together.
Cake is always an extra bonus to a happy day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This is what happens when my daughter cuts my hair

You might have noticed I have a bit of a head of hair. I have to admit, I’ve always liked my hair, it’s full, it’s easy to manage, and as long as I don’t go too creative (I once layered, it was a disaster) it is friendly.
In fact, I’ll let you into a secret... I usually only cut it once a year.
Maybe longer.
I love going to a salon, but it’s one of those things I just never do. Another little fact you might not know about me is that I don’t drive.
Yeah, crazy... I know.
But when I was 16 I lived in downtown Montreal. There was no way I’d learn how to drive there and public transport was a good friend. Then I moved again and was in University, I didn’t want to spend the money to learn when I was studying... and then inspiration led me to my husband and he drove... I got to hold his hand... why would I learn then?
Also learning in the UK, well that sounded complicated. Then I had babies, I’d learn later on, when I wasn’t distracted easily... and so on, and so on. Now... well did I mention I get to hold his hand?
So if I want to get my haircut it turns into a big family venture. Arranging when to go, what everyone is doing while it’s done. It’s not worth it at the moment. It just never happens.
Well, I hit my year and a half point a few weeks ago. My bob had turned long... my ponytail was shabby. It was being uncooperative. It was time for the chop.
So, after our son was in bed (because I draw the line at a 7-year-old barber) I went into my girls’ room with scissors, and asked “Who’s up for it?”
Now I’d done this once before when they were younger... and it had gone fairly well. But then I’d been hesitant about my younger girl doing it. She wasn’t feeling very secure at the time, very focused... so I was a little nervous. However this time around when she asked if she could do it; I knew it was just what she needed.
You see, our second daughter, who’s only 10 months younger than her sister, still has often suffered from middle child insecurities. She’s sensitive and her sister usually hits milestones first. However, I’ve been watching her break free of that over this past year and it excites me. So, I handed the scissors over with ceremony. She was a little nervous, but you should have seen her face when it turned out perfectly even.
Sometimes, offering a little bit of trust mixed in with vulnerability is what our children need from us. When we show up and say “go for it.” And hand over the keys (Hahaha.... what will that day be like if I still haven’t learnt how to drive by then?) or the scissors.
Our girl who always wanted to be little is growing up, and by making that space for her to make mistakes, and then succeed, she is creating her place in this world, with certainty and self-knowledge.
This new year, I ordered the Shining Life and Biz workbooks from Leonie Dawson. Now if you haven’t heard of Leonie, you really should check her out. She’s an artist, author, a mother, and life coach who has put together an academy and these books to unleash each individual’s creativity and sense of self. She’s awesome... and a self-proclaimed Kooky Lady! Anyway, I bought myself the kit and the moment they arrived I knew my daughter should have the life book too. Our eldest didn’t want it, the kookiness didn’t speak to her soul so we got an affirmation colouring book for her instead, but our second daughter is lit up from the inside whenever she opens up the pages and colours in some of the suggested passions, interests or pursuits. It has asked her some self-defining questions and really made her question her goals, interests and her own spiritual connection. At 13, she’s becoming focused as who she is and how she wants to show up in the world.
Together, we’ve started filling in our workbooks and just spending some time together doing soul work. Yeah, we’ve done it before as you know from the Spiritual Kids course, but that was when she was a bit younger. Now she was ready for something a little different... something she doesn’t even show me.
We just sit there together.
So, what happens when I let my daughters cut my hair? It helps us both show up and shine. It creates self-confidence and fun. It reminds her that I trust her, that hair is just hair and grows so there’s little risk (my view anyway, definitely not a lot of women’s, I know) and that life is in the focus and the moment.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I missed the mark...but now it's time to Align and Shine!

I missed my mark...
I skipped a cue and I was a little disconnected....
I'm sorry... but it will be worth it.
See, the thing is, that for the past few months I’ve known a New Years challenge was something I really wanted to do, but because I was swarming in work and...well... it wasn’t new years eve yet, I came up with the processes in kind of a half minded way. I did it via the steps I’m “supposed” to follow, the way coaches do it and the “Embrace Feeling Good” challenge was created. But it hasn’t been resonating or coming together at all. In fact, I was supposed to get my filming done before Christmas break, and it hasn’t flowed yet.
What I love about my work is the fact that as I offer tools to be authentic to yourself, that means I have to use the tools to be authentic to myself. I don’t offer anything I don’t do myself. Everything we work on together, has to come from an inner calling... otherwise, it’s not spiritually aware, right?
Isn’t that the best cycle!
So, over the last couple of days I’ve been asking Spirit to flood the concept and really show me what it should be. What is really going to set 2017 up with a solid foundation of love? What is going to Feel Good... (like the original challenge concept) and yet, be about clearing space, feeling authentically true and feeling good because we are aligned to the highest versions of ourselves? How can we show up this year, with a basement of love, of relief and of honesty... honesty in ourselves and where we are?
So, it starts here... Honesty in myself.
I am shifting the challenge to a little different... now it’s not just about feeling good...
It’s about Showing up.
Showing up as Ourselves for 2017.
The truth is, the world is going through a lot of changes. It’s not about feeling fearful as we cross the threshold of the new year, sure world events and social media might have us think that’s the only way to be, but I believe it’s an important time to radiate out as much love as possible.
And there is no purer light than for you to show up as You. It’s not about looking at the dark parts of the world or the negative stories and talking about how you don’t like them, (which we can all fall into) rather just shining as you.... focusing on the positive light, shining it bright, telling the feeling better story and well... feeling good,  the perfect antidote for an uncertain time.
When we are all resonating as our truest, deepest versions of ourselves, unapologetically, knowing that we are connected to our Spiritual guides/God/Source/inner being... then that is how we create a better home, a better world and a happier life for all our family. It’s also the tools our children need to resonate as themselves too. We all need to support each other to have the courage to shine as Who We Really Are.
So, this is the new sense of a “challenge”... but rather than a “challenge”, let’s go back to the term New Years Intention... this is the intention for 2017. AND YOU CAN SIGN UP HERE!
And we’re starting with a strong foundation... a basement of knowing who we are... who we aren’t... and freeing ourselves to be the best Self... the best parent/partner/friend/person we can radiate as.
Sounds an intense calling for a video “intention”?
Not at all.... We’ll be doing it aligned and easy. A few exercises, a few videos, and sharing with each other on  FB... we’ll be laying the foundations for a good year where we can radiate. It will feel liberating, relieving... and clear. You’ll feel lighter, and ready to creating an amazing 2017.
I hope you join me... because this is going to be awesome... It’s going to Feel Awesome and its going to flow.
Because... you know, it just feels right.
Oh yeah, one last thing...
It felt right to put on a Boxing day special for the Spiritual Kids Course... a little illogical when you consider I’ve been offline basically for a week and I haven’t been able to talk about it or build it up. But it’s on for $97 until January 6th (instead of $147). I figure that most of the exercises are what I’ve used to start the New Years for my children over the years. There is something about going through the processes of exploring who we are and what we appreciate, how we find our inner selves and how to set a good attraction point in January that seems to bring a consciousness to home, and I wanted to make sure you had a chance to have that opportunity as well.
Again... it's felt good.
So... let’s be aligned together, and hold space for each other. Finding that quiet space within, connecting to that divinity within, and radiating the light from our deepest selves.
And then we’ll feel really good.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

All I want for the Holidays

You know what I want for Christmas this year?
I want fun.
I want to have a lightness to life and let it flow through my core. I want to giggle and to have belly laughs, like my son can still. I want to goof around, and be silly. It’s not like I stopped being silly on purpose, somewhere  I just thought I got too busy. But that’s ridiculous, isn’t it?
When people describe me, I often get “positive” and “cheerful” in the description... I think I once got “bubbly”... which I thought was kinda neat although... maybe a little concerning! But sometimes, I forget to let that feeling really drop. I forget to let the thoughts actually vibrate... well at a bubbly level. I think we all do this, we skim through life’s offerings ... never fully experiencing the feeling, which can make life kinda bland. It stops the belly laughs, really.
It’s like when I try to figure out if the presents I’m buying my kids are all fairly distributed, and rather than sitting down with pen and paper in hand to figure it out, I try to mentally think about that as well as everything else... the feeling space turns stressful, because it’s unfocused and unfelt. Rather than fun, because I could be really savouring the joy of giving.
 Mindfulness creates focus, but its circular, as it also comes with focus.
I had the most wondrous realisation the other day. I’m married to the love of my life. I dreamt of meeting him since I was 5, and now we’ve been married for 15 years. Woah! How did that happen? Not only that, but I’m a mom to my dream kids, and I get to come up with ways to pass on spirituality to them and share them with other parents, I get to talk practical spirituality and relationships and parenting with people all across the world daily. I get to write and express myself and I live in a world that I can share that in a click of a button. I get to show up as me. I need to let that sink in finally, rather than chasing it, because I haven’t actually realised it.

So often I talk with parents and they talk about being more present in their parenting, and I think coming to terms with this kind of realisation is a big key to that.
Look at what you’ve got, and decide to claim it. Let it sink in.
Appreciate the moment, and know it will change, and most likely get even better, but what you’ve put out for has come to this point, which will bring forth more asking. So, appreciate what you already have in front of you, and let your heart fill and your energy ground you to the floor in the awe of it all.
Because appreciation can be one of those skimming thoughts, can’t it?
We can list off what we have, like a grocery list, and check them off, almost scared that truly appreciating them, loving them to our core, will make us too vulnerable.
Oh, that’s deep, right?
Love makes us vulnerable.
I remember, when my husband and I first met, we felt so vulnerable, because we thought we could lose each other. We could almost feel ourselves pull back out of the fear of not having each other.
How many other things do we do that with? How much of life do we skim over, not wanting to drop into it completely for fear of missing it if it goes away?
So, what’s the point of this letter?
Well, in these darker days of winter, and as winter holidays approach, I want to encourage you to do two things...
Savour those in front of you and let the loving of them, fill you up from your toes. Don’t just make lists about being grateful for them, rather let yourself Feel the love of for each item on that list, let the list build, so you feel elated.
Second thing is, let any stress go and have some fun! It’s time to feel wonderful, it’s time to enjoy the little things, really enjoy them, and it’s time to embrace feeling good! And Live it up.
Imagine for one moment, if the vibration we collectively carried into the New Year was one of Joy.
What would that feel like as a community?
I guess we'll have to wait to see. 

Oh by the way, I’m working on a free video challenge to start the new year off in a feeling good place, I’ll be letting you know more details closer to the date, but I really hope you can join me.
 I think we should all go into 2017 feeling good about ourselves and our families. <3

Monday, December 12, 2016

Can I take over?

Sometimes, you just have to take over.
This past week, it turned to winter, and it turned early. My daughter hates the cold and we’ve been talking about going away for some of the winter since... well, since last spring.
But winter came early and travel plans, well, let’s just say I’m barely planning Christmas yet.
It’s been a hectic time and I’m looking forward to some chillin’ in pjs and play. I’m not thrilled about the snow that’s pelting outside, but I also know that everything happens for a reason. We have to trust that all is well and that life is flowing just as it should. For some reason we’re sitting here with our heating on full and our old draughty house fighting it back with all its might. For some reason, we’re as under prepared for winter as ever before.
Because we were planning a trip, you know. And winter is early.
Our son is just happy his cat is in the warm and he has an excuse to play inside and not have to go out. Our one daughter isn’t happy about it, but she’s making the best of it. She’s reading, doing her schoolwork and crafting a lot in her room. She wants an adventure, but she’s remembering how it works... we’re here for some reason, all is well, and the snow melts at some point.
But our eldest is the one who is restless. She wants excitement and travel and exploration and who can blame her. She wants to study on the road, to see things, witness things and live. And with that focus her room was becoming a sea of chaos, and she was becoming upset with it all. Nothing was flowing and apathy was settling in.
It starts with a tone usually, which triggers the idea that something is frustrating her. And then it sparks to later mornings, and too much screens. If I say something she says it makes her feel bad... I get it I do. I remember being in that space and not knowing how to get out.
There’s a line in the Jack Nicholson movie “As Good as it gets.” that I’ve always loved
“I’m drowning here and you’re describing the water!”
I’ve come to the conclusion it’s really easy to describe our children’s water that they feel they are drowning in and it’s that process that can really make them shut down.
Sometimes, we have to just give them a hand up, and offer them a rubber dingy.
Every so often I look at either of my teen daughters and ask “would you like me to take over your life?”
And usually, because I ask when life is obviously too much, they sigh and say “yes please.”
So, like today. I clean their room, warning I’m coming with a garbage bag so they should grab what they want before I get in.
I lay out a to-do list, so they have a clear idea where their time should be spent.
I make their meals, making sure they are eating what they should and drinking enough water.
And then I make sure I’m hanging with them a bit more than usual. I make sure that life lightens up. I take some time to sit and giggle while doing our nails.
Because let’s face it, sometimes it can all seem a little bit baffling and we’re not born with a life instruction manual to tell us how to organise what we need to do. As a child grows we seem to expect them to know more and more, when really, when I look at it, I need a planner and breakdown to figure out what I need to do each week... and I only realised that a couple of years ago.
When you are paving your own path, banging your own drum, you can end up aimless and not knowing what to do next. It’s one of the cons of independence. So when our kids are learning independence, covering tips to recognise overwhelm and deal, simply by showing the example of them... that’s an important tool in their bag.
This can sometimes come at inconvenient times. It can lead to late night talks and even blame being thrown around, or stress out of defending themselves. No one wants to admit to overwhelm, but when its an acceptable thing in a home, when we all admit to sometimes dropping the ball, when things can be openly discussed, it means it's ok to say "yes, please take over for a little bit, so I can gather my thoughts and soul."

And sometimes someone asking if they can pick up the pieces just for a while, means our kids can find their  feet again and they can use those tools next time. Because next time, they will be able to feel where they are just a little bit better, and they'll be able to put it in order because we suggested how.